It’s Time for Preliminary Holiday Planning

So, this weekend I called my sister to tell her that I’d found my mom’s Christmas present. I haven’t bought it yet, but I know what it is unless Mom drops some hints that she’d like something else. To be fair, it was something I almost got her last year and then opted for something else, so it wasn’t a new idea. Nevertheless, my sister was a bit…
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Five Ways Improve Your Home Value

We’re already refinancing our mortgage due to the recent rate drops (it’s a free refi that doesn’t increase our loan balance). So, we had to get reappraised. I didn’t think we’d see a value increase because it’s only been 4 months. Well, I was wrong. Our appraised value went up 2% in four months, and I think I’ve figured out why. If you’re planning to sell your house in a…
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The Dos and Don’ts of Combining Finances after the Wedding

Adam commented on my post about how we save 25% of our income. “I am just in the process of getting married, and learning about the whole process of combining our finances.” To help Adam, and any other couple, here’s a quick outline of the process. My husband and I agreed that we would set up a joint checking account after we got married. We could have set it…
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6 Tips for Overcoming Post-Holiday Blues

I always feel a bit blue the day after Christmas. The presents are opened, vacation’s almost over, and the eggnog will soon be disappearing from the grocery store. If you also have a bit of the post-holiday blues, here are a few ways to overcome them. Play a Game with the Family I have a very competitive family, so we love to play games around the holidays and…
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A picture of n open refrigerator for the article when should you replace your refrigerator

Should You Replace a Refrigerator?

Last week our new fridge was finally delivered, and this weekend we spent quite a bit of time reversing the door so it swung the right away. So, first, a few tips on determining how long does a refrigerator last or when should you replace your refrigerator? and then a few tips on reversing a refrigerator door. Should I repair or replace my Refrigerator? When should you replace…
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Guest Post: How Much Does a $100 Coat Cost?

Today features another guest post from Bradd. This time he encourages us to think about the true cost of goods we buy. It may have you thinking twice before you pick up that sale item this holiday season. With the end of the year and the Christmas shopping season coming up, I’ve been thinking recently about taxes and the prices of goods.  And a new coat. Maybe I’m looking…
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Avoid Wasting Milk with These Substitions

I don’t drink milk or eat cereal, and neither does my husband, so it’s tough for us to use up milk before it goes bad. We do now buy a half-gallon every other week, but it’s used entirely for yogurt, leaving none for other purposes. That’s fine with me. Over the years, I’ve found several milk substitutes that are great for cooking and baking. Lactose-Free Milk I used…
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Remembering When Birthdays Were More Important than Swine Flu – at the Carnivals

Yeah, it’s  a stretch, but it’s the best I could do. First up, the Carnival of Personal Finance #203 hosted by Weakonomics.  In addition to my post about the real estate offer process, I also recommend Steadfast Finance’s reminder that your income really does matter, even with home prices down. Second, the Festival of Frugality hosted by Always the Planner. In addition to my post about the home office deduction, I also recommend Free From Broke’s…
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Preparing for Taxes: Deducting Charitable Donations

On Friday, I recommended that you avoid buying consumer goods to help a cause, and instead send a cash donation. If you’re able to itemize your tax returns, you get a nice bonus for your donation in the form of a tax deduction. You have to be careful that the organization you donate to actually qualifies for tax-exemption, but you can also deduct some non-cash donations and other surprising things.…
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That Makes Me Stabby: Resort Fees

This weekend, my husband and I went to Las Vegas and encountered the most ridiculous resort fee ever. My only previous encounter with a resort fee occurred at an actual resort and included “resort” items like two free bottles of water per day (useful at a Disney resort), towel service at the pool, and similar amenities. The fee was still somewhat ridiculous, but at least it provided something…
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